Rapid advances in understanding glaucoma occurred following the invention of the ophthalmoscope in the mid-19th century. To our knowledge, attempts by neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing, MD, to cure the condition during his years at Johns Hopkins Hospital have never been previously reported. The Johns Hopkins Hospital surgical records from 1896 through 1912 were reviewed. A case in which Cushing attempted a surgical cure for a patient diagnosed as having glaucoma was selected for review. In 1905, Cushing performed extirpation of the superior cervical ganglion of a patient believed to have chronic glaucoma experiencing an acute episode who had previously underwent bilateral iridectomies. The patient reported stabilization of vision and decreased pain after the procedure. Respected neurosurgeon Cushing undertook surgical treatment of glaucoma at the turn of the 20th century. His approach provides insight into contemporary glaucoma therapies and pathophysiology.
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